Global Investing

Strong dollar, weak oil and emerging markets growth

October 17, 2014

Many emerging economies have been banking on weaker currencies to revitalise economic growth.  Oil’s 25 percent fall in dollar terms this year should also help. The problem however is the dollar’s strength which is leading to a general tightening of monetary conditions worldwide, more so in countries where central banks are intervening to prevent their currencies from falling too much.

Russia: There’s cheap and then there is “near-death” cheap

October 4, 2014

Russia’s equity market has always been cheap, argues USAA‘s Wasif Latif, but at present levels it is just too cheap to ignore. Russia’s economic decline, driven by not only falling oil prices, its main source of income, but also Western sanctions over its intervention in Ukraine has caused a major sell-off that Latif and other asset managers believe is an overshoot. This has brought Russia’s benchmark dollar-denominated RTS stock index to its lowest level since March and before that, a level not seen since Sept. 2009.

Bleak investment outlook sours mood at Russia forum

September 10, 2014

By Alexander Winning

What are the chances that Western investors will rush back to Russia if a shaky ceasefire in Ukraine leads to a more lasting peace? Pretty slim, judging by a keynote speech at a recent Russia-focused investment conference in London.

Sanctions bite Russia but some investors are fishing

August 14, 2014

By Andrew Winterbottom

Russian stocks are up today, for the fifth day in a row and at the highest level in two weeks. What’s going on? As we wrote  here earlier in the week, foreign investors have been fleeing this market.  However it could be that some of them are starting to put aside concerns about the potential for further sanctions on Moscow and are scouring Russia’s stock markets for contrarian buying opportunities.

Discovering Pyongyang’s view with a North Korean diplomat

May 21, 2014

Last week I went to a very unique session on North Korea which featured a rare appearance of a North Korean diplomat, at London-based policy institute Chatham House.

Ukraine and the IMF: a sense of deja vu

April 1, 2014

The West has just agreed to stump up a load of cash for Ukraine but there is a distinct sense of deja vu around it all.

Braving emerging stocks again

March 26, 2014

It’s a brave investor who will venture into emerging markets these days, let alone start a new fund. Data from Thomson Reuters company Lipper shows declining appetite for new emerging market funds – while almost 200 emerging debt and equity funds were launched in Europe back in 2011, the tally so far  this year is just 10.

CORRECTED-Toothless or not, Western sanctions bite Russian bonds

March 25, 2014

(corrects last paragraph to show that Timchenko was Gunvor’s co-founder, not a former CEO)

Who shivers if Russia cuts off the gas?

March 17, 2014

Markets are fretting about the prospect of western sanctions on Russia but Europeans will also suffer heavily from any retaliatory trade embargoes from Moscow which supplies roughly a third of the continent’s gas needs  – 130 billion cubic metres in 2012.

No more “emerging markets” please

March 12, 2014

The crisis currently roiling the developing world has revived a debate in some circles about the very validity of the “emerging markets” concept. Used since the early 1980s as a convenient moniker grouping countries that were thought to be less developed — financially or infrastructure-wise or due to the size or liquidity of their financial markets — the widely varying performances of different countries during the turmoil has served to underscore the differences rather than similarities between them.  An analyst who traveled recently between several Latin American countries summed it up by writing that he had passed through three international airports during his trip but had not had a stamp in his passport that said “emerging market”.